Two members of the 2010 Hutchinson Community College baseball team that won Region VI and finished third at the NJCAA World Series will be competing this weekend in the NCAA Baseball Tournament.
All-American pitcher Andrew Urban will be in the Los Angeles regional playing for Creighton University. Two-time all-conference player Andrew Dixon will be playing for the top-seeded team in the Gary, Ind., regional, the Purdue Boilermakers.
The 64-team tournament was announced on Monday. Competition in the eight four-team, double-elimination tournaments begin on Friday. The winners of the 16 regionals will meet in best-of-3 super regionals next weekend with the eight remaining teams advancing to the College World Series at T.D. Ameritrade Park in Omaha, Neb.
Urban’s Bluejays had a lackluster regular season, but caught fire in the Missouri Valley Conference Tournament in Springfield, Mo. Playing as the eighth-seed after a sub-.500 record, Creighton won the tournament and received the league’s automatic bid into the NCAA Tournament with a 26-28 record.
Urban had a solid junior season in Omaha, making 14 appearances, seven as a starting pitcher.
Urban posted a 1-1 record with a 2.53 ERA. In 32 innings pitched, Urban struck out five and walked 11. Opponents hit .301 against him this season. The Bluejays were 4-3 in Urban’s starts.
His longest appearance this season was 5 2-3 innings in a start against North Dakota. He allowed three hits, two unearned runs and he struck out two in a 12-3 Creighton victory. Urban has not allowed a run in his last six appearances – one start and five relief outings.
In his two seasons at Hutchinson, Urban went 11-5 with a team-record 14 career saves.
As a freshman on the Blue Dragons’ 2010 World Series team, Urban tied a team record with 11 saves and the second-best ERA in team history at 1.12. As a sophomore, Urban continued to close, but was also moved into the weekend rotation. Urban went 10-3 with a 1.47 ERA, the fourth-best mark in team history. The 10 wins tied for second-most in single-season history. Urban tossed three shutouts, which tied a single-season mark and threw eight complete games, which tied for third-most in a season.
Urban still ranks No. 1 in career appearances (45), No. 2 in career ERA (1.37), tied for 13th in career wins (13) and is tied for fourth in career shutouts (3).
Creighton goes into the Los Angeles regional as the No. 1 seed and will play top seed and No. 2 overall seed UCLA. No. 2 San Diego and No. 3 New Mexico are the other teams in the Los Angles regional.
Creighton looks for its second-ever trip to the College World Series, the first since 1991 and those memorable showdowns with Wichita State.
The winner of the Los Angeles regional faces the College Station regional winner, a field that has Texas A&M, TCU, Mississippi and Dayton.
Back in 2010, Andrew Dixon was involved in one of the most single-exciting plays in Blue Dragon baseball history when his scored the winning run against Cowley in the bottom of the 13th inning of the Region VI winner’s bracket final. Dixon had just driven in the game-tying run and then he scored from second base on a wild pitch for a 5-4 HCC victory.
Last week in the Big 10 championship game, Dixon was again involved in a most strange scoring play and he plated the go-ahead run for Purdue in the top of the ninth inning against Indiana.
Tied at 5-all with one out and Purdue runners on first and third (Dixon was a first); a Boilermaker batter hit a high-chopper to the left side. Indiana’s third baseman fielded it and got the runner caught between third and home.
During the rundown, Dixon was headed to third and after the tag on the lead runner; Indiana threw wildly to third trying to get Dixon, who scored on the play for a 6-5 Purdue lead. The batter was eventually tagged out at third on the play, but the Indiana third baseman took exception with the hard slide and the benches cleared with a few shoves, but no punches thrown.
The bottom line was Purdue won the Big 10 championship for the first time in school history and has the No. 1 seed for the Gary, Ind., regional this weekend.
During Purdue’s championship run in 2012, Dixon has been right in the mix as an outfield and designated hitter. Dixon is hitting .321 (45 for 140) with 22 runs scored and 17 RBIs. Dixon is a career .298 hitter at Purdue with 41 runs, 37 RBIs and 11 stolen bases.
During his sophomore season at Hutchinson, Dixon set single-season records for games played (63), at-bats (222) and singles (66). He had 81 hits, which was fourth-most in team history).
Dixon hit .369 for the Blue Dragons (138 for 374). His current career Blue Dragons rankings are: Games played – 113 (tied 4th), at-bats – 374 (No. 3), hits – 138 (5th), singles – 110 (No. 1), stolen bases – 62 (tied 3rd), sacrifice bunts – 15 (tied 5th).
Purdue (44-12) will play Valparaiso on Friday. No. 2 Kentucky and No. 3 Kent State are also assigned to the Gary regional. That tournament winner will play the Eugene, Oregon, regional winner. Oregon, Cal-State Fullerton, Indiana State and Austin Peay are in the Eugene regional.
(HCC Sports Information)